The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham
Published by Walker Books
It’s been a while since I was a teenage girl but I certainly remember being one and The Moonlight Dreamers would have provided just the reassurance I needed in times fraught with drama, hormones and insecurities.
Siobhan Curham nails writing for her adolescent audience perfectly. Not to say that her young adult fiction is particularly ground breaking but it is pure teenage indulgence. Thankfully it is not focussed on its heroines overcoming adversity to find the perfect boyfriends but it is a true coming of age story. Amber, Rose, Sky and Maali, the young women at its core, journey toward finding and accepting themselves and their dysfunctional families warts and all.
It is equally about forming strong alliances with other young women in whom they will ultimately find support, no matter how many boys may come and go in their young lives. And that’s a message that female readers can be grateful for. This book is a great example of the growing genre of ‘girl power’ lit rather than just ‘chick lit’.
Curham’s novel tells of the lives of four very different young teenage girls, whose paths converge at just the moment they are each hurtling towards their own individual crises. Amber, the natural leader, is the quintessential teenage outcast who finds comfort in the writings of Oscar Wilde and a particular quote about moonlight dreamers seeing the world differently to the rest. Through a very selective postcard drop promoting membership to a secret club, Amber assembles quite an unlikely group of followers including two warring stepsiblings in a newly blended family.
Things start off fairly awkwardly as the group finds its way but through a series of fairly humiliating trials and tribulations (the ones only teenagers can have!) Amber and her friends are united by their nonconformity and become the type of kindred spirits they have each been searching for.
This is very much an over-simplification of the plot but rest assured that amongst the clichés in a novel about friendship there are some really great characterisations, engaging sub plots and excruciatingly embarrassing moments that will make every reader root for the four heroines and appreciate the strength that pulls them closer together.
The Moonlight Dreamers offers a page-turning read with relatable characters, real-life dilemmas and some much needed escapism. A highly recommended contemporary read for young adults.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Siobhan Curham
Title: The Moonlight Dreamers
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: July 2016